Shocker? Wichita State Presents Challenge for Zags - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Shocker? Wichita State Presents Challenge for Zags

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah - If you told me before the NCAA Tournament that Southern, Wichita State, and LaSalle/Ole Miss would be the teams standing between Gonzaga and the Elite Eight, I would've jumped out of my seat.  But here I am in the media work room, hours away from a 3rd round matchup with the Shockers, and I am downright nervous.
 
Granted, Gonzaga was rusty in its opener against Southern.  They were just a little bit off.  Wichita State was by no means sharp in its win over Pitt, but the Shockers were physical and just plain nasty.  They have athletic guards who can take away the three-point shot.  They have strong big men who can push you around.  If you've followed Gonzaga, you know you have to hammer Kelly Olynyk and Elias Harris, and defend the perimeter.  Wichita State plays much like Syracuse in that regard.  It presents a bad matchup for Gonzaga.
 
I saw Pitt throw up brick after brick against the Shockers on Thursday.  1-of-17 from three-point range.  That's not a fluke.  A lot of that falls on Wichita State guard Tekele Cotton.
 
"I look forward to being that guy to chase around their player like I did (Thursday)," Cotton said of the upcoming defensive assignment against Gonzaga's guards.  "So I look forward to chasing around Kevin Pangos.  I have no problem with it.  I enjoy it."
 
I wouldn't be surprised if we saw more of Przemek Karnowski in Round 3.  I saw something similar when Mark Few gave Ryan Spangler the bulk of the minutes last year against West Virginia.  If Cotton is Wichita State's free safety, flying all over the place, Karnowski could be Gonzaga's fullback, clearing the way for Kelly Olynyk and Elias Harris.  I saw Karnowski, a stout 7-footer, absolutely maul a Southern Jaguar on Thursday.  If you were watching, you know the kid is like a Grizzly pawing away at a salmon swimming upstream.
 
Whatever Gonzaga plans to do, I'm sure the Zags will not be outcoached.  They have one of the most talented coaching staffs in the country, with a national player of the year candidate to boot.  And that makes them a very real threat to reach the Final 4.  Even if they make me nervous in the process.

I'll be tweeting away as always @SWXSamAdams throughout the day, starting with the Arizona - Harvard game.  As an ASU Sun Devil and a sportscaster following Gonzaga, I have no problem rooting for Harvard.  The way this West Bracket is shaping up, why not knock out the #6 seed while we're at it.
  • College

    • Press Pass Pullman: Week Eight

      In this week's edition of Press Pass Pullman, Mike Leach talks about his talented freshmen wide receivers, the depth of the Pac-12 in football, and his favorite cities to visit in the conference. Coach Leach also answers a very important Fan Question of the Week: in a real world fight between vikings and pirates, who would win, and why? Also, Theo Lawson of the Spokesman-Review discusses the win over Colorado, what Khalil Tate brings to the table for Arizona, and Luke Falk breaking th...

    • Super 8 Plays of the Week 10/23

      Check out this week's top moments and plays in sports!

    • Early Goal Enough for Battlin’ Bears Women to Defeat EOU

      The Rocky Mountain College women’s soccer team used a goal just over 90 seconds into the game to pick up a 1-0 win over Eastern Oregon on Sunday afternoon at Wendy’s Field...

    • Rocky Men's Soccer Celebrates Seniors with 10th Straight Win

      The seventh-ranked Rocky Mountain College men’s soccer team closed out its home slate of games with a 3-0 win over Eastern Oregon on Sunday afternoon at Wendy’s Field.

    • Eastern drops first Big Sky game at Southern Utah 46-28

      The first quarter seemed to come easy for the No. 8 Eastern Washington University football team. But the last three were excruciating.

    • Last Second Field Goal Lifts Cats to Win Over Northern Colorado

      Montana State made a furious second-half comeback that eventually led to the Bobcats converting on a 27-yard field goal as time expired to defeat Northern Colorado, 27-24, at Nottingham Field on Saturday.

    • Rocky Mountain Offense Struggles in Loss to Carroll

      Rocky Mountain compiled just 192 yards of total offense in the game.

    • Whitworth hits offensive strides; defeats Puget Sound 38-23

      SPOKANE, Wash. – Senior quarterback Ian Kolste made a successful return from an ankle injury to lead Whitworth to a 38-23 win over visiting Puget Sound and set his team's career record for total offense along the way. Kolste, who was injured on October 7th against George Fox and missed all of the following week's win at Pacific Lutheran, completed 20 of 32 passes for 224 yards with three touchdowns and one interception in two quarters of play, leading the Pirates to a 31-7 half...
    • Missouri routs Idaho 68-21

      COLUMBIA, Mo.- Idaho struck first, but Missouri scored 37 unanswered points en route to a 68-21 victory over the Vandals Saturday, in Columbia, Mo.   After Armond Hawkins intercepted Missouri quarterback Drew Lock on the first play from scrimmage, Matt Linehan found Kaden Elliss for a seven-yard touchdown as Idaho (2-5) took a 7-0 lead. Big plays helped the Tigers (2-5) answer the score and a punt return touchdown put Missouri on top for good. The Tigers led 51-14 at halftime....
    • Friday Night Blitz Highlights and Scores 10/20

      Check out your high school football from week 9, as well as playoff soccer in Class AA!

    More
HD DOPPLER 6i
/